“Enthusiasm is the electricity of life. How do you get it? You act enthusiastic until you make it a habit.” — Gordon Parks.
Newman alumna Wilma Moore-Black has an enthusiasm for life, for getting involved, for helping young students achieve their dreams, for communication, for being a mother and so much more.
Her enthusiasm for success was kickstarted at Wichita East High School when she was presented the Danforth Leadership “I Dare You” Award.
“I took that honor and challenge seriously from that day to life,” she said. “I thought if someone saw something special in me, then there must be a lot inside that I will learn to inspire, challenge and force myself to do in life. At 68, I am still fearless and look forward to waking up each morning and wondering, ‘What will I do today?'”
In 1992, Moore-Black graduated from Newman University with a degree in education.
Moore-Black attended Newman in the evenings while working full time at KAKE-TV. On top of that, she was a devoted wife and mother.
“I was taking evening classes, rushing from the TV newsroom to the Newman campus for evening classes four nights a week. This was an intensive degree completion program, demanding and fast-paced. But I loved learning about the theory and development of a school teacher, a career that my mother wanted me to pursue,” she said.
Moore-Black eventually decided to pursue her love of communication and combined that with her passion for diversity and inclusion efforts.
“A diversified newsroom, decision-makers at all levels and dedicated leaders are needed desperately in the social media and mass communication field,” she said.
She worked with first-generation and limited-income students in the TRIO Communication Upward Bound (CUB) program for many years through Wichita State University (WSU) and has recently started her own business.
She is now self-employed and the engineer of her home-based business, WMB Creative Productions. She specializes in writing, editing, media relations, strategic planning, resume construction, teaching disadvantaged youth, doing photography and promoting lifelong learning.
Through WMB Creative Productions, Moore-Black works as a publicist for David Parks, the son of Gordon Parks, who is one of her biggest inspirations.
She promotes David’s appearances and his involvement at nationwide schools named in honor of his father, who was a native of Fort Scott, Kansas, and the first African American photographer for Life Magazine. He was also an author, filmmaker, composer and inspiration to many.
Moore-Black met David at the annual “Gordon Parks Celebration Days” in Fort Scott.
After teaching her CUB students about Gordon Parks, one student entered into the high school photography competition offered during the celebration.
That same student went on to gain a scholarship to the University of Kansas and she completed a five-year architectural program that included a master’s degree.
“You do not always get instant gratification when you work with federally funded educational programs to encourage students to choose college and come out with a post-secondary degree — something many of their parents never experienced,” she said.
“Her accomplishments were the biggest ‘thank you’ for all I did with the CUB program to witness that it was worth all that I gave. Many times, I just sat humbly and said, ‘Thank you, Lord.’”
Though she is done working full time for others, Moore-Black stays very busy with her business and community involvement.
She joined the Wichita Professional Communicators (WPC), then called Wichita Professional Women, in the ’80s. She became the president of the group in 2009 and happily took on the role again in 2020.
The group meets monthly to network and listen to speakers.
As president, Moore-Black oversees the monthly meetings, presides over monthly board meetings, engages members, networks at events on behalf of WPC and serves on committees as needed.
She also writes a monthly column for the group’s newsletter. On top of all of that, Moore-Black puts much of her effort into fundraising.
“Supporting the WPC scholarship fund ranks among my top fundraising areas. WPC awards a $2,000 scholarship to a student promising to enter the communication field.”
Moore-Black has also been involved with the Kansas Professional Communicators, serving as president in 2011, and is a lifetime member of the NAACP, historian for the African American Faculty Staff Association at WSU and assists with youth department activities at the Unity Church of Wichita.
She is heavily involved in the church and with her grandchildren, whom she will be home-schooling this year.
“My life’s philosophy is that it’s very important to put the H1B1 formula into action. That means ‘Help One Bring One’ along the way of your life’s journey. When a person gives forward and lends a helping hand to someone entering the communications industry, it’s a win-win situation.”